Simple Systems for Live Performance: A TouchDesigner Primer - LIVE Session



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Date & Time: Friday 7th & Friday 14th May 6pmUK / 7pm Berlin

Level: Intermediate

Whether at a concert or in a music video, visual effects can do so much to enhance the listener/viewer’s experience and create a lasting impression. This workshop aims to demonstrate how, using TouchDesigner, one can convert MIDI and acoustic audio signal into dynamic visual performances.

Session Learning Outcomes

By the end of this sessions a successful student will be able to:


  • Understand core concepts of multichannel video mixing in TouchDesigner

  • Design and implement generative visual systems which evolve over time

  • Build simple audio +/ MIDI signal workflows

  • Map a visualization onto any performance environment, whether physical or digital


  • Builds on the concepts from PT1 with more advanced visual effects

  • Patterns for flexible MIDI mapping

  • Persisting/loading sets of cues with Python + JSON

Session Study Topics


  • How to build custom UIs with widgets in TouchDesigner

  • Feedback loops, particle systems LFOs, FFTs, L Systems… various techniques for audio-reactivity

  • Basic MIDI input with TouchDesigner

  • Outputting anywhere: projection mapping, NDI streaming, DMX / lighting fixtures


  • Programming advanced actions with Python in TouchDesigner

  • Making custom MIDI mappings which plug into a global control system


  • A computer and internet connection

  • A web cam and mic

  • A Zoom account

  • A free (or higher) license of TouchDesigner

  • A text editor for programming, such as Sublime Text 3 (recommended)


  • Webcam and/or microphone

  • A text editor for programming, such as Sublime Text 3 (recommended)

  • Virtual audio routing software (e.g VB Cable on Windows, Soundflower / Loopback Audio on Mac) you can use to send audio to TouchDesigner directly from other software on your computer, such as Spotify

About the workshop leader 

Ben Benjamin is a programmer and performer based in Los Angeles. He is obsessed with the intersection of media, culture, and technology.